I think it’s reset time for me. I had a great time in New York and it’s really put me in a place to create again. I won’t be moving to the new studio, but working in my studio at home. This is a GOOD thing and it doesn’t mean I will be any less involved at CoRK or elsewhere, just concentrating on creating smaller work that will be more experimental – stretching myself to focus my artistic voice.
Last May started a year of events that has been life changing. I scootered with my scooter friends up to ride the Tail of the Dragon and other assorted windy roads in North Carolina. I conquered my fears of flying off the side of the mountain (sort of) and I’m really proud of that achievement. I would do it again in a heartbeat.
Then I went to Portland for my first BECon in June. I got to see and hear a lot of great art and people and I was introduced to North Lands Creative Glass in Lybster, Scotland. Louise Tait stirred my desire to travel to that far place.
Then in October, a last minute cancellation opened the door to another game changer. I got to attend the Explore Santa Fe with Ted Sawyer at the Sana Fe Bullseye Resource Center. I met a group of wonderful artists that I am still in touch with. I learned a new technique that has opened the door to my growth as an artist.
Finally, I was able to go to Scotland this past March. What an amazing place, it really took me out of my comfort zone and challenged me. I learned how to cast glass, and work with printed images in multiple layers. I have another group of incredible artists I can now call friends. I fell in love with North Lands and Lybster. I have to go back.
I think my time at North Lands has given me a new sense of confidence, something I haven’t felt in a LONG time. Of course, all of this past year has built it me up and positioned me to fly. And fly I will. I just have to be patient enough to do it right.
BTW, new work:
One thing I do regret about the class at North Lands Creative is that I let my fears get the best of me. I was so nervous about going – first time out of the country. The week leading up to leaving, I had butterflies in my stomach and my shoulder muscles were so tight! Because I didn’t want to be perceived as a typical bumbling, obnoxious American, I was even more reserved than usual.*
When I arrived on the first day of class, I was surrounded by all these fabulously talented and strong women. And then there was little ol’ me feeling more awkward than ever, fighting my worries of fitting in, being good enough – hell, just being able to speak intelligently. By the 4th day my internal dialogue was so bad I was in the bathroom crying. Fortunately, I got some long distance encouragement from Donald and carried on (Thank you, honey!).
It was kind of strange the whole time I was there, in a way. I felt separate but very at home. The best evening was our last dinner at the Bay Owl. One of my fellow classmates, Niela, has this way about her and we ended up having some very open discussions about ourselves. The bus ride back to Lybster was magical. Talk and laughter was palpable. When we got back, we hung out at The Comm (pub), and had a blast sharing music, dancing, drinks and conversations.
I wouldn’t change a thing, though. Insecurities and all, it was one of the best experiences I’ve had and I can’t wait to come back. 🙂
*FYI – embarassment is not something I deal with very well. It can be a trigger for shame and other self-defeating emotions.
My trip to Portland and Bullseye Glass Conference wasn’t about learning new techniques. It was something much better. It was about color, story, and art. As I watched and listened to each presenter, I became restless, unsettled.
Between sessions, I would wander in the nearby green space and l became entranced by a small red-violet & purple flower (Fuschia, Gold Purple, Violet). The color was exciting, brilliant spires amongst the clover and tall grasses that covered half the field. I took photos, repeatedly. I finally asked if anyone knew what it’s name was. Prunella vulgaris: Self-heal or Heal-all. A bell went off.
I came to the realization that I have been engaged in a long effort to heal myself. I saw connections to things I had done or created as unconscious ways of trying to remove the hurt. I’m not even sure where this hurt came from, since my life has not been a hard one by any means (some would and have called me spoiled, and I don’t disagree), but still it is there. I still feel it.
It’s hard trying to put this into words. I’m not a skilled communicator (Awkward Girl is awkward sometimes). I have a feeling, though, that the more I try, the better formed these thoughts and feelings will be. So, I will create and share, and eventually whatever this is, will be.